How Many Cherry Barbs In A 10 Gallon Tank?

In a 10-gallon tank, you should keep at most five cherry barbs. A simple guideline to use when determining how many cherry barbs you can keep is the 1:2 ratio. The 1:2 ratio means one cherry barb requires 2 gallons of water. However, the most widely recommended tank size for cherry barbs is 25 to 30 gallons.

You’ll be drawn to the cherry barb if your aquarium is purely for aesthetic appeal. Cherry barbs are a bright red cherry color, easy to care for, and live between 5 to 7 years. When fully grown, the cherry barb can reach 2 inches in length, but as they are schooling fish, they require adequate tank space to swim and thrive in the aquarium.

How Many Cherry Barbs Can You Put In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Cherry barbs can be kept in a 10-gallon tank due to their small size, but keeping them in a tank of 25 to 30 gallons is preferable. No more than five cherry barbs should be in a 10-gallon tank.

Larger aquariums are more suitable for schooling fish like cherry barbs. When cherry barns are in a smaller tank, they can survive, but it isn’t the most suitable environment for them.

Cherry barbs are considered hardy fish, but they can also be sensitive to changes in water conditions. In an overcrowded 10-gallon tank with many cherry barbs, you may find that they are susceptible to illness.

Cherry barbs are prolific breeders, and because they are pretty hardy, they don’t need additional tank items to breed effectively. This should be considered when keeping your cherry barbs in a 10-gallon tank.

When it’s the mating season, you may have more cherry barbs than you anticipate, making the tank size insufficient.

Considering the above, it’s always best to opt for a bigger tank, and if you plan on breeding with your cherry barbs, it’s best to remove the fry and keep them in a separate tank.

Cherry Barb with Large Plant Background

Guidelines For Keeping Cherry Barbs In A 10 Gallon Tank

If you are keeping your cherry barbs in a 10-gallon tank, it is essential to meet a few basic requirements to keep your fish happy and healthy.

Schooling Fish

Cherry barbs have a schooling nature and, when kept in a 10-gallon tank, should not exceed five fish. If cherry barbs are kept in an aquarium where there are fewer than 5 of them, they can become stressed and isolated and look for places to hide.

Cherry barbs don’t do well on their own and should not be kept by themselves in an aquarium environment. Cherry barbs handle the company of other fish well but should have a minimum of two other cherry barbs to keep them company.

Breeding Requirements

Cherry barbs are relatively easy to breed but require sufficient tank space. If you’re keeping your cherry barbs in a 10-gallon tank and plan to breed with them, you’ll need to get another tank for the eggs; cherry barbs will eat their eggs when kept in an aquarium.

The tank for breeding also needs to have a few live plants. Cherry barbs will often lay eggs in the plants. If you don’t see eggs in your tank, it is likely due to the unfavorable breeding conditions for cherry barbs.

Adding Other Species Of Fish

If you’re using a 10-gallon tank as an aquarium for your cherry barbs, you wouldn’t want to add too many more fish. Cherry barbs are active fish and need room to swim, so if there is overcrowding in a tank, they won’t have enough space.

If you have five cherry barbs in a 10-gallon tank, it’s best not to add any more. If you have two cherry barbs in your 10-gallon tank, you could add two more compatible fish, such as neon tetra, molly fish, guppies, and sparkling gourami.

Plants And Aquarium Decorations

In your 10-gallon tank, cherry barbs require a good amount of plants. They are timid fish that love to hide, and adding live plants will make them feel most comfortable as it mimics their natural habitat.

When adding plants to a 10-gallon tank, avoid adding too many, as this leaves little room for your cherry barbs to swim comfortably. Cherry barbs will also seek out hiding spots and feel safe when they have many hiding spots to choose from.

You can create hiding spots by using caves, rocks, and pieces of driftwood, among other aquarium accessories. Some plants suitable for cherry barbs include java moss, pennywort, and java fern.

Water And Tank Conditions

In the wild, cherry barbs live in shallow acidic water that gets little light. There are lots of plants, and they prefer a sandy substrate.

In a 10-gallon tank, the water temperature should be between 74 and 79ºF, and the pH level must be 6 or 7. Cherry barbs do not like bright light, so aquarium lighting should be kept soft/dim.

Sandy substrates are best for cherry barbs, and partial water changes of around 25 – 30% should be carried out every other week. Tanks with more plants require weekly water changes.

Keeping Compatible Fish And Cherry Barbs In A 10 Gallon Tank

Cherry barbs have a peaceful temperament, and if they are the only fish in the tank, you could add a few more compatible fish to your aquarium.

Cherry barbs should never be in an aquarium with aggressive fish. Some of the most compatible fish for cherry barbs include pearl gourami, Asian stone cats, kuhli loach, rainbow sharks, and otocinclus.

Compatible tank companions for cherry barbs are not limited to fish. They can include nerite snails, bamboo shrimp, and mystery snails.

If you’re keeping to a minimal amount of cherry barbs in your 10-gallon tank, you’ll want to keep two females for every male. However, if your cherry barbs display aggressive or nipping behaviors in your tank, it’s likely that the male-to-female ratio is off or there aren’t good places for them to hide in the tank.


Cherry barbs need at least a 25 to 30-gallon tank, but if you’re keeping them in a 10-gallon tank, you should stick to only five cherry barbs. Cherry barbs are hardy fish, and although they can survive in a 10-gallon tank, they are much happier with a few more cherry barbs in a larger tank environment.